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Book Notice

THE INEVITABLE:  Dispatches on the Right to Die

By Katie Engelhart    St. Martin’s Press  3/2021

I’ve read every non-academic book on the right to die in the last 40 years and the scope of this new one comes as a pleasant change:  in-depth, international, doctor-probing, and examining certain people who want accelerated death from birth to their life’s end.

(This cannot be a ‘book review’ as I know too many of the people in it and am myself occasionally referred to. So, it’s a ‘notice’.)

The intensive studies of the backgrounds and philosophies of four doctors (Shavelson, Nitschke, Irwin, Kevorkian), ground-breaking professionals, are a gem in themselves, something not examined this way before.

The suffering and distress of selected persons with painful and distressing illnesses who are looking for a quick, non-violent end is told in deep, thoughtful stories. And compassionate. We need to know exactly how it is for some.

Author Katie Engelhart, Oxford graduate and journalist, tells the important story of the whole contemporary right-to-die movement in very readable style — with those troublesome source notes tucked away in 49 pages at the extreme end.

A vital and needed book. — DEREK HUMPHRY

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